Collective suffering

I was listening to a talk by sh Hamza Yusuf, on the meaning of life. I found myself in an exceptionally empty space tonight, a space that I’ve never before managed to just be in. A space that was filled with darkness – because I’d run away with my light, I assume. It feels like g-force is acting on that space, presumably from the absence of the soul in that place? Anyway, somehow I survived being there. Just lying in bed, feeling suspended between worlds. I can’t even explain it. I kept making ducaa and I realized that my years of dissociating from this place meant that I dissociated from Allaah, while remaining in the space I thought to escape. But then I’d constantly meet it again and again in different situations and places and people. The mind is such a peculiar place. But I digress.

So he was talking about meaning and how the very first thing that Adam calayhisallaam was taught was the name of things – their meaning. And I was like, ooooh! I had never considered it before you see. The thing with meaning is that it’s a combination of inner and outer reality through symbolism. And symbolism is a fractal, and information cascades outwardly, and not linearly. Meaning, no pun intended, that one meaning usually leads to a network of meanings. It’s like adjacent possible.

And he then mentions the hadeeth, the beauty of one’s Islaam is to not concern oneself with what holds no meaning for one. And he used gossip as example, and I immediately thought : tmz! And then : information apocalypse!

That’s why we are so overwhelmed with all the access to knowledge. It’s not really the knowledge but that it’s not connected in a meaningful way. Meaning is the inherent order to things. It’s what leads us to discover things by deduction or adjacent possible or intuition. There’s a system to all information in the universe.

The internet is a dumpster, a chaotic place where algorithm and clickbait decides things instead of critical thinking or values. It’s why no one gets why certain things go viral and others don’t. Why you can have someone like Logan Paul with millions of subscribers and followers – and for what? We’re disintegrating as a civilization because of loss of meaning. Hedonism is meaningless enjoyment. I don’t think there’s a greater suffering than meaninglessness, and this is why I’d often object to people using “third world countries” and “first world problems” as some scale for gratitude and measuring the level of pity someone deserves. One can endure the worst of conditions if they have meaning, which many of the nations and people pitied have.

Collectivist cultures are literally built on meaning and tradition and connection. Not that I’m idealizing it, because that kind of culture goes easily to the other extreme of erasing individual expression. But in the context of poverty, we in the West view their plight through our lens of hedonism ; convenience is the only thing that makes life bearable. Imagine if we had to deal with water shortages or walking miles and miles to school – with our current outlook on life. It’d kill us worse than the bubonic plague I tell you. How many people do you know who are barely hanging by a thread, just going through the motions because they have bills to pay and a 9-5 job? Imagine those people being made redundant and then evicted?

I don’t know what is going to happen in the coming years, but I know we’ve crossed some threshold that there’s no coming back from. The grace in this is that with more chaos, there’s more room for creating order. And that’s why I always advice people to not be sucked into the chaos. Find and create meaning. That’s the only way to fix this mess. By transmuting it into the meaning that Allaah intended these trials to bring out.

A ducaa for the existentially depressed

Ya rabb, You’re the only reason I’m held together and I’m yet to disintegrate into infinitisimal particles, or blow my brains out from the extreme anxiety of having to find a needle of truth in a quantum haystack of boundless information bits. Even if I dissociate and attempt to escape my mind, I can’t escape this life inside me, this life that weighs so heavy with existential dread and expectation. Even if I try to discard what I am, clouds of misery withholding rains of meaning will follow me like the horizon, or I will follow it because my path is primordial and preordained.

If I were to unravel, like I’ve done in the past, none can make me ok again. At best I’d be in a merciful catatonic state, numbing the mind crushing pain, hoping death is dispatched sooner than later.

If I were to lose my bearing in this information apocalypse, none could help me find my inner compass. I’d either become driftwood, being carried by the momentum of the majority, or I’d become a deceptive snake, pretending to be guided.

Even my turning to You is divine inspiration and I’m overcome with how much I need You. I give up everything in me that would take me away from You and I seek refuge with You from my ego. I ask for Your love to soothe me and I beg that You keep me company, always. All of this is for nothing if I lose my soul signal. All of this turns into crushing pressure if You leave me to my own devices. Nothing is worth losing my connection to You for. I’ll give up family, friends, society. I’ll take to a remote mountain if so required. I’ve known enough suffering to know that the one thing I can’t survive without is Your watchful presence.

Back up

When the current state of the world or even recent history is your main subject of observation, you only invite back the demons that were ousted and you fan a dying flame. You identifying and calling out what’s wrong doesn’t hold the transformative powers you think it does.

Delicate Reputation

Either you’re willing to understand me or you’re not willing to understand me; if you’re not willing to understand me then I will not waste my time easing your resistance. If you are willing to understand me, then I will focus on what’s real with no regards to whether I’m right or not. Your willingness to understand me gives me an opportunity to grow. That’s all I’m focused on right now ; people concerned with what’s real and not with who’s right.

I don’t want to be right. Being right is missing out on the bigger picture by reducing the truth to words and instances. I want to feel what’s real, and my perception of how I come across is my biggest hinder because it’s an inability for my ego to submit to my soul. Insisting on being right means someone else has to be wrong and I’m not going to waste my life peddling the extremes and measuring the distance from the ideal. I’m on a soul journey to unravel what Allaah has created and intended for me. I’m inherently clueless and powerless and helpless, except by Allaah’s aid.

My view of myself and my status quo can be summed up by the invocation :

لا حول و لا قوة إلا بالله

{Laa Hawla wa Laa Quwwata illaa Bi-llaah}

حول means transformation, movement, evolution, change

قوة means strength, power

Hawl= internal dynamism

Quwwa= external potency


There’s no transformation that can be made nor exertion of (effective) force (upon something) without the energy and power of Allaah.

I’d rather surrender to Allaah and His will than try to resist life.


Receiving love is about receiving life force and you can’t receive life in the parts of you that you don’t want in your life.

Know that pure love is a derivative of the divine love; its flow is unconditional and its force is abundant. Therefore, don’t try to receive from any source – be it a parent, romantic partner, societal norm etc – that requires you to show up and fit into a certain mold to receive their love. It’s not love. It’s mutualism. You’re both benefitting from the relationship, but there’s no direct exchange of flow.

Love by its very essence erodes barriers and it can contrast your blocks quite harshly too, don’t get it twisted. Love can just as easily manifest as a tornado as it can a gentle breeze. Sometimes the blocks are so great and the delusion is so dense that it takes drastic measures to break you out (that’s if you were ready to be saved from your ego)

Believe, evolve, relief valve

As empaths, we feel what the collective can’t or won’t feel. We feel and identify what we wouldn’t have, had we had a different life ; a political prisoner labouring away in NK, a single father working 3 shifts, a homeless drug addict. In life, some people embody the pain because that’s all they can do to contain it from spilling over to others. And our role as empaths is not to become stagnant with the pain or to be receptacles for any negativity. It’s not even to take on the pain of others. It’s to heal ourselves and be cognizant of the fact that as the canaries in the coal mine we become affected earlier than the collective. Our role is to name our personal experience so that others can learn to name theirs.

We’re the first responders, the emergency dispatchers, the paramedics of humanity. We feel it because we possess the resources to heal it. But many a times we misinterpret the calls of distress because we don’t see ourselves fully. So instead of seeing why pain pools to us, all we see is our inability to ‘fix’ it.

What I’m trying to say is, sensitivity is just the hotline. There’s way more to sensitivity than just becoming aware of an issue. Sensitivity, if we allow it to become our teacher, is a superpower. Sensitivity is a threat to the ego, as it should be. It’s not about our limitations or taking away people’s problems. It’s about transmutation, and only the soul can do that. Sensitivity is a crack in the ego that lets the soul peek through.

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